Thursday, March 22, 2018

More 1904 News from Robinson Constitution

From the Robinson Constitution   Researcher D Foote
AUGUST 10, 1904
Birds: Sheriff Carr passed through out town Friday looking after a thief who had stolen a buggy and harness.  Felix Pinkstaff will sell at public sale at his residence, 3 1/2 miles east of Birds, Friday Aug. 12, the following personal property: 1 three year old filly, 1 ten year old farm mare,1 five year old mare, 1 span of good work mules, 5 two year old steers, 9 yearling steers and heifers, 6 milk cows with calves at side, 1 sow and pigs, 2 shoats, household and kitchen furnishings and many other articles too numerous to mention. Twelve months time; five per cent discount cash. Col A.B. Cooper, Auctioneer

OCTOBER 19, 1904
MARRIAGE LICENSE-Hugh Frederick age 23-Eaton; May Griffin age 22- Birds

NOVEMBER 9, 1904
MARRIAGE LICENSE-Kirby S. Montgomery age 22 -Flat Rock; Birt Treace Carlyle age 21-Birds

NOVEMBER 16, 1904
Mr. Seabright, of Lawrence county, was here Monday paying 15 cents per pound for turkeys.
Price Johnson, of Russellville, was here Monday en route to Springfield as delegate to the Odd Fellows Grand Lodge.

NOVEMBER 23, 1904
BIRDS NEWS: Misses Daisy Fritchey, Lulu Boyd and Mrs. S.I. Carlyle attended the Quarterly Meeting at Bee Branch Church Saturday and Sunday.  The new Baptist Church at Lawrenceville will be dedicated December 11th.

Flat Rock News: Harrison Weger living a few miles southwest of here was badly hurt a few days ago while down in Lawrence county. It is supposed he was hit on the head by some one with a club or some thing of the kind. He is still in critical condition.

DECEMBER 14, 1904

Harrison Weger died at  the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Weger, in Honey Creek township a week ago yesterday. Death is thought to have resulted from a blow on the head struck by his brother Elmer with a club a week previous. The two brothers and two other boys were shucking corn on the Joe Griggs farm in Lawrence county, and were "batching" together.

The boys have no time piece and so got up at one o'clock in the morning thinking it was day break. Finding their mistake they commenced by having some fun by throwing shoes etc. at each other until Harrison Weger drew a knife and tried to stab Elmer, who in self defense picked up a piece of rail which they had cut for wood and struck Harrison on the head. The blow rendered him unconscious. The boys kept the matter quiet until Tuesday, when a neighbor hearing of his condition sent for a doctor. The next day the boys' parents heard of the matter and went down and brought Harrison home. While everything possible was done to relieve him, it was all to no avail and he died as stated without regaining consciousness. Coroner Hutchinson impaneled a jury Wednesday.

Birds news-The Odd Fellows will give a Masquerade support here December 21st.

DECEMBER 21, 1904

MARRIAGE LICENSE-Samuel W. Ford age 54-Canaan, Malinda Terrell age 34-Birds; Millard C. Dale age 32-Oaktown, Ind. Cora A Shinkle age 20-Birds

A gentleman by the name of Baker committed suicide at Pinkstaff last Saturday. He shot himself in the head.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

News of the Northern Part of the County 1904

From the Constitution, a Robinson Paper   researcher D Foote
JANUARY 13, 1904
A very sad accident occurred here last Thursday afternoon, Ed Pollard Jr. came to his death very suddenly. Mr. Pollard, Bill Greer and Sam Robinson were cutting timber southwest of here about 1 mile in the woods belonging to John Steffy Sr. They had felled a tree which lodged in a small tree which lodged on yet on a larger tree.  They then cut the other larger tree and it was while it and the others were falling that the small tree caught Pollard and crushed his head, from which injury he died instantly. His arm was also broken. Pollard is about 24 years old. He is the son of Ed Pollard Sr. one of our most highly respected citizens. The deceased has lived in Birds about two years and was one of our most popular young men. He had quit paying his dues on a life policy of $1,000 just two months previous to his death. He leaves a mother and father to mourn his death.

JANUARY 27, 1904
MARRIAGE LICENSE-Samuel Seitzinger age 30-Flat Rock-Pernie Campbell age 31-West Port.

FEBRUARY 10, 1904
Frank and Arthur Lindsay, of Birds, passed through here Friday on their way home from Effingham where they have been attending Austin College.

FEBRUARY 17, 1904
Dr. L. E. James and John Snyder assisted installing a Sons of Veterans Society at Lawrenceville last Friday night. (These two men may have been from  the S. of V. unit at Oblong according to researcher.)

MARCH 2, 1904
MARRIAGE LICENSE-Robert N. James age 19-Hardinsville-Lelah Baldwin age 19-West Port

W.E. Bond was called east of Pinkstaff to conduct the funeral of Mrs. A. Rowland Sunday.

MARCH 23, 1904
Roy Dale, of Sumner, visited Robinson friends. Roy has bought a stationary and book store in Sumner and will quit the life as a printer.

MARCH 30, 1904
Lawrenceville is putting in a wrapper factory. B.A. Montague, who was instrumental in establishing the U.S. factory at Palestine, is installing the plant.

Birds: Laura Rash closed her school at Pinkstaff Thursday. Chas. Gillen closed a term of school at Conover Friday.  Birds was once again visited by high waters. The water was in several residences and stores. This flood was almost equal to the McKinley flood seven years ago. Ed Whiting, our great democratic candidate for clerk, was chief manager of the relief boat.

APRIL 6, 1904
Clyde Anderson (colored) age about fourteen years, died at the home of his mother in this city Sunday of typhoid pneumonia. Funeral services were conducted at the Baptist church Monday by Elder Tedford, after which the remains were taken on the 12:26 train to Pinkstaff, for interment.

MARRIAGE LICENSE-Wheeler L. Pinkstaff age 19-Birds; Bernice L. Lackey age 18-Canaan

APRIL 13, 1904
Birds is now in an egg case panic, no cases can be gotten from any point on account of high waters, but the merchants think they will be able to get them this week as the waters are receding.

APRIL 20, 1904
Owen F. Pinkstaff died at his home near Pinkstaff in Lawrence County, the 12th inst. at the age of 91 years, 10 months and 9 days. He came from Kentucky with his father nearly 87 years ago, located in Lawrence county and remained there during the remainder of his long life.

APRIL 27, 1904
MARRIAGE LICENSE: Phillip Waggoner age 27- Sumner-Melvina Wesley age 22- Flat Rock; Oscar Ford-age 20-Flat Rock, Myrtle A. McDaniel age 19-West Port

MAY 11, 1904
BIRDS: Graduating exercises for Bond and Russell towns will be held here May 18, at the U.B. Church. Admission 10 cents.   The new post office building is completed and Postmaster Calvert moved the post office apparatus Saturday. It is located near Dr. Dailey's office.

MAY 18, 1904
The Quarterly Conference of the Russellville charge will be held at Van Houten Saturday night and Sunday. Rev P.C. Carlin, of Bridgeport will conduct the service. Quarterly Conference will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday. All are cordially invited.

JUNE 12, 1904
W.E. Bond, the undertaker, was called to Westport Monday to conduct the funeral of Mrs. Abshire.
Jos. Mickey, one of among Lawrence County's, oldest and most respected citizens, died Monday at Birds. He was probably the oldest Odd Fellow and Mason in this part of the county. Interment in Mullins cemetery west of Birds.

JUNE 19, 1904
MARRIAGE LICENSE-Elmer E. Sechrist age 22- Birds; Ethyl G. Wilber age 19-Birds.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Death by Log

Vincennes Weekly Sun January 23, 1872
We are indebted to our friend H. H. Rogers of Bridgeport, for the particulars of the melancholy death of Mr. Hiram Collison of Denison Township, which occurred on last Sunday evening. About 5 o’clock he went to the wood pile for the purpose of getting a back log, and as he was returning with a large log on his shoulder, by some means he slipped and fell, the log falling across the back part of his head, frightfully fracturing the skull, from the effects of which he died in three hours. The deceased was a member of the M. E. Church, and was universally honored and respected. His funeral was preached by Rev. E. Joy. He was an unmarried man, about 27 years old; and was a member of the Bridgeport Lodge, No. 386, A. F. and A. M.,  and was buried on Tuesday last week at Allendale, Wabash County with Masonic honors.      Lawrence County Democrat

Monday, March 19, 2018

L'Embarras Turnpike Company

July 1, 1820 Indiana Centinel  Vol 4 No 12
 L’Embarras Turnpike Co.  The Commissioners of L’Embarras Turnpike Company hereby give notice that the books for the Subscription of Stock are now open, at the House of Henry Dubois at Dubois Mills on L’Embarras and John D. Hay in Vincennes by order of the commissioners, John D. Hay May 9, 1820

Friday, March 16, 2018

Updates from Recent Blogs

Updates from recent blogs: 
  • The denomination is "Church of the Brethren" and  was also called "Dunkard" because of their baptismal method of total immersion.  Reverend Dolar Richey's son, Arthur, also became a pastor and served in the Church of the Brethren, in Walnut Grove, near Parkersburg, IL according to A. Couts. 
  • A reader inquired about the location of the Stevens Horseshoeing Shop picture. J King responded that the J.C. Stephen's Horseshoeing Shop picture is a bit misleading in that the brothers Clay & Clyde Stephens are Lawrence County guys, but the picture is in front of the James Clay "J.C." Stephens shop in nearby Bruceville, IN.  In 1900, the census of Bond Township, Lawrence County, included the household of 52-year old farmer Cyrus Stephens--sons James C. Stephens, age 21, born in Illinois & Clyde P. Stephens, age 10, born in Illinois.  In 1910, Clyde was farming in Bond Twp, age 20, with a new wife and baby daughter.  He later registered for the World War I draft in Tazewell Co., IL, where he died and was buried in 1919.  The 1910 Census found 31-year old James C. Stephens owning a blacksmith shop in Bruceville with wife & two children.  James Clay Stephens died 17 June 1957 and was buried at the Derr Cemetery, east of Pinkstaff.  The picture of the J.C. Stephen's Horseshoeing Shop is circa 1906-1908 on Main Street in Bruceville, Knox County, Indiana, with the Bruceville School in the background.  It is not the Lawrence County Courthouse in Lawrenceville IL, nor is it the Old Central School in Lawrenceville.  King also concluded that the school was not anything he had ever seen pictured in Bridgeport, Sumner, or St Francisville nor was it the brick school in either Pinkstaff or Russellville.  Yet Census searches for Clay and Clyde Stephens kept bringing him back to the Cyrus Stephens family in Bond Township, Lawrence County, Illinois. The shop seemed to be owned by James Clay Stephens, the older brother on the left with leather chaps.  I believe that his younger brother Clyde V. Stephens, b 1889 in Sumner, Lawrence Co, is the teenager on the right, also wearing leather chaps.
  • We had several comments about the Maxwell Park series. Very few people knew anything about it or its location. Thanks to K Borden for the research.  
  • A family member (B Brown) thanked J King for providing research Achilles M. Brown, a Civil War soldier from Oblong. A blog article detailing the acquittal of Brown in the shooting of Dr. Routt was published in June 2013; the trial was held in Lawrence County.   Brown said it was a slight shock to read that this ancestor had been involved in that type of case but it certainly made for a great story to pass through the family.  
  • When the names of the HMC medical staff in the 1950s was posted on the blog, J. Petty remembered that Dr. Ed Fahnestock gave all the Bridgeport kids their school required physicals.  
  • S. Frederick wanted to know about the white building across from Bridgeport Grain at the southwest corner of Main & Olive Streets in downtown Bridgeport .  J King responded that it was the Farmer's State Bank. The building was rebuilt after the fire on Friday, June 13, 1913, that destroyed two blocks of downtown Bridgeport. The bank failed in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  A hermit lived there during the 1950s & early 1960s—later his body was found in the vault.  Then the Masonic Lodge of Bridgeport fixed it up for its use. The building has been vacant since the Masons moved to their present location, at the corner of Olive & Washington and is now owned by the same owner of Bridgeport Grain. 

Research Note:  We have bound volumes of the Sumner Press from 1971 through 2015 at our Research Library, as well as several other bound local newspapers.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bethany Church

Bethany Church congregation circa 1920
Bethany Christian Church about 10 miles upriver from Lawrenceville and to the west of the Embarras, is situated in a region of rich black lands which was settled by thrifty farmers of German and Irish descent. Among them were Mrs. Jacintha Jane Norris and her daughter Cassie Norris Smith, both of whom were members of the White House or Pleasant Hill church several miles to the south. Through their influence J. S. Clements, a Christian minister was called to hold a meeting in the Bethany schoolhouse.

Thirty-six persons responded to the invitation to attend. Members of the Dunlap, Allen, Updike, Judy, Smith, Westfall, Ridgley, Welch, Gray, Norris, Lester, Kimmel, Carter, Groves, and Bennier families attended. The log schoolhouse where they met for worship was commonly called Cornbread School so it was to be expected that the congregation soon came to be known as the Cornbread Church. Here people gathered for nearly 3 years beginning in 1879. Late in 1881 a chapel was built on the site of the present building.

In 1907 the first oil well was drilled in Petrolia, Lawrence County.  By 1914 the boom had hit the Bethany area. Klondike sprang up about 1 mile northwest of the church and Applegate grew up two miles south. Oil brought both people and money to the area and the church revived. The crest of the oil boom passed in 1917 and many people moved to other fields.  World War I and the influenza epidemic set in during the winter of 1918 and the church once again declined in numbers and spirit.

However during the boom period, a tent meeting was held at Bethany Church in September 1907 that had far-reaching repercussions. The evangelist held that the use of instrumental music in worship were unlawful  and ought to be forbidden in the church. A few who held that these things made no difference remained. Mrs. Metta Lester’s patience with those whom she thought to be too strict in matters of opinion wore thin, and 1910, when she saw that none of the children of the neighborhood were receiving any Bible training,  she announced that on the next Sunday, classes for children would be organized. The non-instrumentalists locked the doors of the building to keep her and the children out. But it so happened that the three trustees were in sympathy with her and allowed the use of the school church house. At this the anti-instrumental element left the church and instrumentalists who had previously left came back. The wounds of this conflict had not completely healed by 1979, according to a newspaper article written at that time. 

In 1921, C. L. Doty revived the old church and added more members than any other minister of record.  A year later at a revival,  a decision was made to remodel the church. Mark Smith was elected business manager and Opal Updike, treasurer. Frank Smith secured enough pledges, that is was not necessary to raise money on the Dedication Day.

On January 31, 1933 the building caught fire for some unknown cause and burned to the ground. Nothing was saved and the insurance had lapsed. Immediate plans were made to rebuild. Timber, help and money were donated to the extent that a new building was erected and dedicated in August, 1933. C. L. Dodi gave the dedication address.

photo by John Hamilton
In 1964 six classrooms were added; in 1965 a baptistery and dressing rooms were also added. 

 Elders who have served are Robert Gray, Jonathan Smith, CharlesSteffy, Frank Smith, Ellis Smith, Opal Updike, Carl York, Omar Smith, Harmon Parrott, Jerry Smith, Ray Havel, Dee Havel, Paul Longnecker and Joe Smith. Other deacons who have served are: George D. McGuire, William Lester, Charles Beard, William Darnold, Leslie Gray, Carson Gray, Fred Newton, Singleton Kimmel, Guy Gray, Lawrence Berkshire, Omar Smith, Roy Jacobs, Bennett Bridgett, C. B. Nuttall, Willard Smith, Joe LaMotte, Loyd Jacobs, Telly Mushrush, Joe Smith, Veris Parrott, Elvin Legg, and Terry Havill. 

This photo was published in the newspaper  in recent years purporting to be he Bethany Sunday School class in 1918.  Names identified were Toletha Osborn, Isis Harbaugh, Corene Laws, Martha Harbaugh, Marjorie Harbaugh and William Scyoc. Several researchers are questioning the identification and would like the descendants or perhaps church members to confirm that these families were members of the Bethany Church.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

1937 Basketball Team

1937 Tracy Elementary school in Bridgeport 
bottom row from left:  Maurice Irwin, Harold Lee "Deedle" Murray, George Hite Baldwin,
 and Hallie Hamilton, Jr.  
Back row from left: Richard "Dick" Smith, Coach Orris Brown, John "Jack" Masengale
 and Myron "Bingo" Henry.